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NFL Week 16 Power Rankings: The Texans take over in the AFC South

Houston wins a key game that will help lock up the AFC South.

Houston Texans v Tennessee TItans Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

1. Baltimore Ravens (12-2; Won 42-21 vs NYJ) (-)

Lamar Jackson added another five touchdown passes to his runaway MVP campaign as his 298 total yards on the day carried the Ravens to an easy Thursday night victory.

2. New Orleans Saints (11-3; Won 34-7 vs IND) (+1)

Drew Brees and the Saints offense lit up the Colts as the veteran quarterback broke the NFL record for most passing touchdowns in NFL history. It was a historic day in the Superdome and the Saints managed to stay in the race for a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4; Won 23-3 vs DEN) (+1)

Patrick Mahomes threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns on 34 attempts as he led the Chiefs to a dominant win against their division rivals.

4. Seattle Seahawks (11-3; Won 30-24 vs CAR) (+1)

Both Chris Carson and Russell Wilson had stand out days as the Seahawks managed to blow out the Panthers and regain control in the NFC West. The score looks a lot closer than the game was, as the Panthers scored 14 points in garbage time.

5. San Francisco 49ers (11-3; Lost 29-22 vs ATL) (-3)

The 49ers allowed the Falcons to beat them at the last second, falling all the way from the top seed in the NFC to a wild card role. A big game from tight end George Kittle was not enough, but the tight end had 134 yards on 13 catches.

6. Green Bay Packers (11-3; Won 21-13 vs CHI) (-)

Green Bay beat their longtime rival and furthered their lead in the NFC North in Week 15. Neither Aaron Rodgers nor Aaron Jones could get the offense going, but a great performance from the defense was able to get the job done.

7. New England Patriots (11-3; Won 34-13 vs CIN) (-)

Tom Brady had another down day and the Patriots offense took some time to get going, but they eventually got it together and took over in the second half. New England avoided an absolute disaster of a loss, but concerns about their offense remain.

8. Minnesota Vikings (10-4; Won 39-10 vs LAC) (-)

The Vikings managed to keep pace with the Packers by dominating the Chargers in Los Angeles. Mike Boone scored a pair of touchdowns and the Vikings staunch defense crushed the Chargers offense.

9. Buffalo Bills (10-4; Won 17-10 vs PIT) (+1)

The Bills clinched their second playoff appearance in the past three years after besting the Steelers in a defensive battle. Josh Allen had another lackluster day, though, throwing for 139 yards on 25 attempts — 99 of those yards to John Brown.

10. Houston Texans (9-5; Win 24-21 vs TEN) (+2)

The Texans won the biggest game of their season thus far, as they went into Nashville and knocked off the Tennessee Titans to take back a one-game lead in the AFC South. Deshaun Watson threw for two touchdowns in the air, while Carlos Hyde added another on the ground. Houston will probably end up making the playoffs despite a mid-season slump this year.

11. Dallas Cowboys (7-7; Won 44-21 vs LAR) (+4)

The Cowboys erupted against the Rams, smoking them in the first half for an easy victory. Both Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott eclipsed the 100-yard mark and scored three total touchdowns on the ground. The Cowboys looks like clear favorites in the NFC East.

12. Tennessee Titans (8-6; Lost 24-21 vs HOU) (-3)

The Titans fell into an early 14-0 hole, and while they ended up giving the Texans a fight, they fell just short. Tennessee will have another shot at the Texans in Week 17 but with the Saints up next and the next matchup against the Texans in Houston, their playoff hopes may be dead.

13. Los Angeles Rams (8-6; Lost 44-21 vs DAL) (-2)

The Rams defense was steamrolled by the Cowboys in the first half. Los Angeles could not get much going on offense either, and the Rams’ playoff hopes are effectively dead in 2019.

14. Chicago Bears (7-7; Won 21-13 vs GB) (-1)

Mitch Trubisky needed 53 attempts to reach 334 yards and a late lateral attempt to tie the game came just short. The Bears had trouble cracking the still Packers defense, but their own defense played well against their division rival.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6; Lost 17-10 vs BUF) (-1)

The Steelers came up just short against the Bills on “Sunday Night Football,” but a loss for the Titans as well allowed to hold on to their playoff spot.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7; Won 38-17 vs DET) (-)

Jameis Winston threw for a career high 458 yards along with four touchdowns, as the Bucs dominated the Lions in basically every facet of the game. Their season may be dead, but getting back to .500 is something to be proud of after a rough start to the year.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (7-7; Won 37-27 vs WAS) (+1)

Philadelphia avoided a disaster, as they pulled off a slim win at FedEx Field. Carson Wentz threw for 266 yards and three scores on 43 attempts while rookie sensation Miles Sanders added 122 yards and a score on the ground.

18. Indianapolis Colts (6-8; Lost 34-7 vs NO) (-1)

The Colts were wiped out by the Saints as their playoff hopes died during a Monday night embarrassment.

19. Atlanta Falcons (5-9; Won 29-22 vs SF) (+5)

The Falcons escaped San Francisco with a win after Julio Jones scored a touchdown at the last second to earn a win. Jones had 134 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a marvelous effort.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9; Won 20-16 vs OAK) (+5)

A furious second half comeback from the Jaguars saw them evaporate a double-digit lead and knock off a good Raiders team in Oakland. Gardner Minshew threw for 201 yards and two scores to lead the Jags to victory.

21. Carolina Panthers (5-9; Lost 30-24 vs SEA) (+2)

Kyle Allen threw three interceptions in another disastrous performance as he continues to play his way out of a long-term role in Carolina. The Panthers’ once promising season is now dead, as they look ahead to the NFL draft.

22. Cleveland Browns (6-8; Lost 38-24 vs ARI) (+1)

A great effort from running back Nick Chubb—127 yards and a touchdown—was wasted by another sub-par performance from sophomore quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Browns eighth loss means they cannot finish the year with a winning record.

23. Oakland Raiders (6-8; Lost 20-16 vs JAX) (-2)

The Raiders had a chance to impress the Oakland crowd one last time before they headed over to Las Vegas next season, but they were outscored 17-0 in a second half collapse that will leave fans with a sour taste in their mouth.

24. Arizona Cardinals (4-9-1; Won 38-24 vs CLE) (+3)

Kenyan Drake went off against the Browns. The mid-season addition ran for 137 yards and four touchdowns on 22 attempts, carrying the Cardinals to an upset victory.

25. Denver Broncos (5-9; Lost 23-3 vs KC) (-6)

Drew Lock only completed 18 of 40 attempts as his impressive streak ended this week. The Broncos were blown out of Kansas City as they look towards the NFL draft.

26. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9; Lost 39-10 vs MIN) (-4)

Philip Rivers had another rough day, throwing three interceptions as the Chargers were smashed by the Vikings as their disappointing season continues in Week 15.

27. New York Jets (5-9; Lost 42-21 vs BAL) (+1)

Sam Darnold struggled once again this week, and this game’s score would have been even more unbalanced if not for a few garbage time touchdowns. The young quarterback threw for 218 yards on 32 attempts as the Jets fell further in despair.

28. Detroit Lions (3-10-1; Lost 38-17 vs TB) (-2)

The Lions beat-up defense had no answer to the Bucs offense and they allowed Jameis Winston to have a career day. They moved up in the draft order, and have a real chance to steal Chase Young.

29. New York Giants (3-11; Won 36-20 vs MIA) (+2)

The Eli Manning-led New York Giants popped off in what may the veteran quarterback’s final home start. After a slow first half that featured many big mistakes by Manning, the offense got in together in the second half and eventually won comfortably.

30. Miami Dolphins (3-11; Lost 36-20 vs NYG) (+1)

The Dolphins collapsed in the second half, getting outscored 29-10 in the final two quarters. Their offense absolutely stagnated and their defense could not deal with Saquon Barkley or Sterling Shepard.

31. Washington (3-11; Lost 37-27 vs PHI) (-2)

Rookie receiver Terry McLaurin had another big day as his 130 yards and a touchdown almost led Washington to a huge upset win in the NFC East. The defense could not contain Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense down the stretch, though, and they earned a loss that may help them in draft positioning.

32. Cincinnati Bengals (1-13; Lost 34-13 vs NE)

The Bengals looked like they had a chance to pull a signature upset in the first half, but things derailed in the second half and they got blown out. Andy Dalton showed why he was benched in the first place, as he threw four interceptions and only 151 yards on 31 attempts.

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